22 Feb, 18, Source: Rega
[electronic translation] The crews of the Swiss air rescue service Rega helped an average of 29 patients a day last year. With 15’958 missions, Rega 2017 was in greater demand than ever before – both at home and abroad. This corresponds to one use every 33 minutes.
Rega can look back on an intensive year of operations: In 2017, the operations center organized 15,958 missions (+5.7%). Both the rescue helicopters and the ambulance jets were in the air more frequently in 2017 than in the previous year: 11’774 helicopter operations (+6.5%) and 886 jet operations (+3.3%) were organized by the operations management. The Rega crews took care of an average of 29 patients daily with a total of 10,788 patients (+ 7.1%) *.
Good weather periods ensure high numbers of applications
The numbers of operations of Rega helicopters reflect the weather conditions and leisure activities of the Swiss population and are therefore subject to natural fluctuations. This was particularly evident in the months of February and October of last year, which were above average in 2017. Just over a quarter more patients than in the previous year needed rapid medical aid from the air during this time. As Rega, with its own operations center and 12 operations bases throughout Switzerland, manages the rescue helicopters across regions and can deploy additional rescue helicopters if required, it also manages a high volume of operations and medical aid is quickly available where it is needed.
Rega ambulance jets worldwide in use for the Swiss population
Rega helps not only in Switzerland but around the world and around the clock: Rega’s consultants advised a total of 2,571 patients (+ 2.4%) on medical problems abroad last year. Depending on the state of health and after having been clarified by a consultant, the Rega operations management organizes the return transport to Switzerland. In 2017, Rega repatriated a total of 1,249 patients (+ 2.1%). Of these, 901 patients (+3.7%) were flown back home in one of the three ambulance jets. For 348 patients (-1.7%), Rega was able to organize the return journey on board a scheduled aircraft accompanied by a flight doctor, an intensive care specialist or unaccompanied.
Diseases as the most common reason for a Rega use
As in the previous year, illnesses were the most common reason for using a rescue helicopter in 2017: 44 percent of all helicopter operations were carried out by Rega crews for patients with severe or acute illnesses such as strokes or cardiovascular diseases. By far, missions follow due to winter sports, work and traffic accidents. In the repatriations with the Rega ambulance jets, the proportion is even higher: 61 percent of the patients were flown to Switzerland for further treatment due to an illness abroad, 39 percent due to an accident.